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RCM summer season 2021

Live performance returns to the RCM with summer events season

Thursday 15 April 2021

Royal College of Music musicians are taking to the College’s stages to perform together for the first time since autumn 2020. The online events season features a mixture of live and newly pre-recorded performances, filmed with online audiences in mind and performed in accordance with Covid-19 safety measures. Highlights include the annual Keyboard Festival, Percussion Showcase and Super String Sunday.

The season commences on 21 April with the RCM’s award-winning Chamber Music Fellows, Echéa Quartet, performing Schubert’s dramatic and thrilling opening movement to Death and the Maiden. On 28 April, the RCM Brass Ensembles perform a fascinating variety of brass arrangements and original works, from the antiphonal brass of Gabrieli to the funky sounds of Pee Wee Ellis. With the aim of showcasing musical talent from across the College’s faculties, the season also features performances from the RCM Wind Ensemble, RCM Baroque Orchestra and RCM Big Band. 

Three popular annual events return this season. The Keyboard Festival will be livestreamed on Sunday 2 May; this year’s theme is ‘Old, New, Borrowed and Blue’. RCM musicians will celebrate the ‘prelude and étude’ with a marathon day of captivating music, performed on the concert grand piano and newly commissioned Kennedy-Mietke harpsichord. The diverse range of composers to be heard include baroque master Couperin, Chopin, Leopold Godowsky and Nikolai Kapustin. 

Every imaginable percussion instrument will be in use on 5 May for the vibrant Percussion Showcase. The concert opens with Rossini’s Overture for his opera The Thieving Magpie and will feature interviews and insights from the musicians throughout. Super String Sunday returns on 16 May with a mix of works for solo performers to chamber ensembles, including Mendelssohn’s magnificent Octet for Strings.

RCM Artistic Director, Stephen Johns, comments: ‘We are immensely pleased to be making music in person together again at the Royal College of Music and I have no doubt that our musicians’ enjoyment will permeate through this fantastic summer series. Our pre-recorded events have been filmed with at-home audiences in mind for an authentic and intimate viewing experience, while our livestreamed festivals will capture the atmosphere of a live event, as we move closer to welcoming audiences back in person.’ 

Details of further events in the RCM’s summer season will be announced in the coming weeks. Listings and detailed information can be found in the What’s On section. For all the latest updates, follow the RCM on Twitter @rcmlondon.